POST CARD FROM SINGAPORE, NUMERO UNO.
What is this?
No time to say much but first, a little game. If you can identify the picture, there'll be a prize of some sort - possibly an electronically blown kiss of congratulation, or maybe an eOrchid.
Now, then. What ho and howdedo??!!!
I knew we were in the tropics when a ruddy great clap of thunder jerked my jet-lagged body into rigid and terrified wakefulness just before dawn. It had taken from 10pm until an hour before, to get to sleep, so I began the day in a state of exhausted apprehension!
Talk about hot! You need five changes of underwear, here, daily and whenever you sit outside, you keep wishing someone would open a huge window somewhere, and let in some fresh air.
Our wonderful hosts - and there are hosts of them - will shortly be here to take us off to visit the Gardens By The Bay. We've already done some preliminary judging of shortlisted community gardens and spent a fascinating - and delightfully recuperative - day working through the Singapore Botanic Garden (details here) with curator, Dr Chin See Chung.
A few comments:
1. Anyone who needs lessons in how to be really hospitable to visitors should visit Singapore.
2. I have a notion that the inhabitants of this city have a different metabolism from us cold-blooded Brits. I've never seen such constant, dedicated, committed eating. The food here is out of this world, and everyone seems to be tucking in almost constantly, yet relatively few people appear to be heavy. When one sees a sagging belly, I mean other than when trying to avoid looking at the bathroom mirror of a morning, the sound that accompanies will usually have Anglo-saxon connections.
3. You really can create a garden in a city, even one with almost 5,000,000 souls crammed into a small, equatorial island. More on that later.
4. There are insects in the rainforest which can cover you with bites and yet which are totally, one hundred percent invisible. I spent moments under a dipterocarp tree can was instantly covered with itchy blobs.
The view from our hotel window. Not the most impressive until you realise that this is the heart of a city with 5 million souls and yet which, in places, feels greener than my rural home. And don't you just adore tropical skies?
I'm listening to the PG, agitating for us to go down to breakfast. She's obviously caught SES (Singapore Eating Syndrome.)
More soon - bye bye!